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RE: Using Form Elements for Pages only Intended for Printing

From: Geoff Deering <gdeering@acslink.net.au>
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 20:11:40 +1100
To: "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@w3.org>
Cc: "Patrick Burke" <burke@ucla.edu>, "Carol Foster" <c.foster@umassp.edu>, "WAI Interest Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NBBBJPNFCLNLAADCLFJBIEIJDEAA.gdeering@acslink.net.au>
Yes, it seems both more useable and accessible.  One shame, especially in
Universities is that it is easy enough to set up generic form emailing
programs which take form data, format it and send to an email address passed
in an argument.  Shame that they are not implement more widely so that the
process of having to print them on the client side of the user is bypassed.

We were also confronted with using pop up windows and print buttons for
printing formatted reports on a recent project, but just went with
displaying a printer friendly version in the same browser window and the
user just using the browser print function to print the page.

Geoff

-----Original Message-----
From: Charles McCathieNevile [mailto:charles@w3.org]
Sent: Wednesday, 16 January 2002 9:10 PM
To: Geoff Deering
Cc: Patrick Burke; Carol Foster; WAI Interest Group
Subject: RE: Using Form Elements for Pages only Intended for Printing

As a sighted user with occasional keyboard problems, and as someone who has
had to read a lot of these forms (I have had some very interesting jobs, but
that mostly wasn't one) I also support the idea of having the HTML form.

It provides the simplest, most consistent way to enter the content and
present it. If you present [ ] as a checkbox, for example you get [X], [
X ],
[o], [---] and [+++], [Y] and [N] and all kinds of other variations. It
might
not seem much, but I had the job becuase the variety was too hard for
scanning software to recognise, and it made an appreciable difference to
people too.

And people very commonly end up with a mess where you had an underscore. Or
they print off a form, and then try to fill in a space with 9pt handwriting.
And most people who can read 9pt type cannot write in 9pt.

cheers

Charles McCN

On Wed, 16 Jan 2002, Geoff Deering wrote:

  Thanks, I appreciate this insight, it helps a lot.

  -----Original Message-----
  From: Patrick Burke [mailto:burke@ucla.edu]
  Sent: Friday, 11 January 2002 8:50 AM
  To: gdeering@acslink.net.au; Carol Foster
  Cc: WAI Interest Group
  Subject: RE: Using Form Elements for Pages only Intended for Printing

  As a blind person I would say that the form element version is much
  friendlier.

  If underscore or other characters are used to mark the input fields, then
I
  (or anyone really) has to copy the page to a word processor (possibly
  losing original formatting), then fill in the ___ sections (& hope that
  doesn't mess up the formatting beyond recognition).

  The version with form markup would let me move quickly and accurately
among
  the input fields, & their location on the page would be maintained
  automatically. So, other than the possibility of entering 3 pages of text
  into an edit field, the printout would match the original form more
  exactly. Which is, as I understand it, what people dealing with print
forms
  want.

  So, I would vote in favor of forms markup, with a statement at the
  beginning that the form is for printing purposes and cannot be submitted
  online.

  Patrick

  At 01:34 PM 1/10/02, Geoff Deering wrote:
  >What I am really asking is, is
  >
  >Name: _________________________________
  >
  >Address: _______________________________
  >
  >Etc the better markup for print?
  >
  >The question is; Does using form elements immediately imply an
  >electronically submittable form?  And if so, is it best to use the above
  >markup?
  >
  >Geoff Deering
  >http://www.acslink.aone.net.au/gdeering/


--
Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409
134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617
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Received on Monday, 21 January 2002 04:11:44 GMT

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